Saudi Arabia pledged to reach “zero carbon” emissions by 2060 in what was the latest international effort to tackle climate change, the country’s crown prince said in comments published on Monday.
The world’s top oil exporter already produces the world’s largest quantities of oil and gas, despite a domestic renewable energy industry in recent years.
Saudi Arabia “aims to reach its total energy and non-energy (carbon dioxide) emissions targets through aggressive energy efficiency measures, continuous research on renewable and alternative energy sources and speeded-up construction of new electric transmission lines to facilitate electricity supply,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.
Prince Mohammed was speaking in a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is on a trip to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya reported.
He said the kingdom had responded to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with “modest, but significant steps” to cut fossil fuel subsidies, raise taxes on petroleum products, end subsidies on public transport, and increase taxes on energy and water consumption.
He also promised to end subsidies for electricity and water by 2023, except for those in vulnerable areas such as farmers, students and disabled citizens.